EMO In Schools: The Worlds First Student Practitioners
In this article, that will be appearing in the Uxbridge Gazette in the coming weeks, Kim Bradley reports on the worlds first EMO Student Practitioners who are all student peer mentors at Haydon School, Middlesex.
Haydon School is one of a few schools in the borough that have SOS Peer Mentors. The SOS (Students on Side) Peer Mentoring group was established in Easter of 2008 by Geraldine Daly (Modern Foreign Languages Teacher).
This group was an extension of the Sixth Form Mentoring group originally set up several years ago by Sue Pink (Haydon School Counsellor).
The group was set up so that students could provide support for their fellow students. The group has a total of 34 dedicated student Peer Mentors who give up their breaks and lunchtimes to provide support. The support is provided through a drop in centre, patrolling school premises looking out for any students in need of support and they also mentor one-to-one where requested by House Managers.
Each Peer Mentor has carried out extensive training before taking on this important role and they also continue to attend in house professional development such as the new EMO training, to help them carry out their role effectively. Each Peer Mentor has a member of staff who supervises them weekly to ensure they follow appropriate guidelines for both the mentor and the mentee’s safety. The Peer Mentors regularly run open clinics for other students in the school to go and talk about their problems. Problems such as bullying, exam stress and nerves, feeling overwhelmed with workload, conflict between other students and teachers, home life situations to name but a few issues that they address.
Haydon is a very innovative and forward thinking school in their approach and recently 19 students have been training to be the FIRST in the world to achieve the Student Practitioner of EMO qualification; a fully licensed approach to helping people with all emotional problems and situations. There are many Adult EMO Practitioners in 21 countries worldwide but this new qualification is the first of its kind.
EMO stands for Emotional Transformation, and it helps the students to identify where emotions are being held in the body. The emotions can build up like a pressure cooker and can lead to outbursts of anger, frustration, crying or even held deep within and causing depression.
The course was over 3 weeks and included using the technique on feelings of hurt and anger of being called names, receiving criticism (including constructive criticism given by teachers), gossip and insults. They were shown how to handle praise and compliments without embarrassment and shyness as well as noticing when a compliment is being brushed off.
One of the students said of the insults session; “it was like having a verbal detox”. Knowing that from this point forward all insults and hurtful comments you receive need not affect your self esteem is very empowering.
The second training session incorporated learning how beliefs limit you from achieving your full potential. The technique enabled the students to be free of beliefs like “this subject is too hard”, “I’m no good at maths” and so on. One student used it for her feelings towards ‘A’ Level Law and how she was feeling overwhelmed with it before. Since using EMO on this belief she has found more creative ways to learn and understand the information.
Another important part of the training was handling difficult people. A useful skill to have in conflict resolution and clearing pre-conceived judgements made about people. The students received some coaching methods on exam nerves, how to get the most out of learning, revision techniques and creating a positive mental attitude of success and confidence.
The last training session bought the techniques together into a role play situation where they can use these new skills to help the diverse range of problems and children that come for help.
The trainer, Kim Bradley from Emotional Freedom Training, said “It has been an immense privilege to teach such young minds these skills that they will be able to use for the rest of their lives. EMO is all about becoming the Master of your Emotions and not at the Mercy of them. Being put in the driving seat of your feelings at such a young age is a fantastic gift”.
As well as 19 students receiving such an accolade, 15 teachers were taught the basics of the technique for handling day to day stress and feeling overwhelmed with work as well as handling difficult people including students and their peers.
Nicola Quinn as EMO co-creator says “I'm delighted at this momentous step of taking EMO into schools and I look forward to this initiative spreading so our children are better equipped emotionally to go out into the world and live happy and fulfilling lives”.